Lessons for police in assigning sex Transgender awareness course

Police have been forced to hold special awareness sessions after officers mistakenly assigned the wrong sex to transgender people.

Officers have inadvertently referred to women as men and men as women.

Now the force is hosting special sessions to try to prevent further errors.

A transgender member of the police force talks to people about what they should do and they watch a DVD.

A member of staff at Sussex Police who attended the course explained he was taught to ask people how they would like to be referred to – and to immediately apologise if they did make a mistake.

Sussex Police admitted the errors after The Argus approached the force about it.

The situation came to The Argus’ attention after Brighton and Hove City Council held a transgender awareness scrutiny committee meeting, addressing the issue of transgender people in the city.

The panel said: “We are aware that there have been incidents when people have been wrongly assigned a gender by police officers when they call in to report an incident, which has led to upsetting and insensitive handling of that individual at the police station.”

Superintendent Laurence Taylor said members of the transgender community should feel confident their concerns would be dealt with sensitively.

'Raising awareness'

He said: “There have been a small number of incidents where people have been wrongly assigned gender which we recognise as both upsetting and inappropriate.

“In order to raise awareness of transgender issues we held a transgender awareness training session for representatives of all districts and departments across Sussex and plans are underway to expand this to all staff.

“In support of this members of the transgender community helped in creating an awareness DVD which was endorsed by them.”

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Comments (25)

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8:17am Fri 1 Feb 13

still waiting says...

I suppose that the main reason that it's being done is that one of the ever-growing band of overseers, inspectors and the like has decided it's necessary. I mean, why spend a reducing pot of money on actually putting police on the streets if you can spend it on "back office" functions. And the news today is all about the IPCC becoming the next growth industry. But, all in all, you couldn't make it up if you tried, could you?
I suppose that the main reason that it's being done is that one of the ever-growing band of overseers, inspectors and the like has decided it's necessary. I mean, why spend a reducing pot of money on actually putting police on the streets if you can spend it on "back office" functions. And the news today is all about the IPCC becoming the next growth industry. But, all in all, you couldn't make it up if you tried, could you? still waiting

8:31am Fri 1 Feb 13

Indigatio says...

A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

What a waste ot time, money and effort.
A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet. What a waste ot time, money and effort. Indigatio

8:40am Fri 1 Feb 13

upsidedowntuctuc says...

Wow surely if these people were assigned the wrong gender at birth it must be really confusing.
Surely in a tolerant society if an honest mistake is made with no intent to offend then none should be taken?
Maybe they could run an identify a criminal course in parallel?
Wow surely if these people were assigned the wrong gender at birth it must be really confusing. Surely in a tolerant society if an honest mistake is made with no intent to offend then none should be taken? Maybe they could run an identify a criminal course in parallel? upsidedowntuctuc

8:50am Fri 1 Feb 13

Morpheus says...

It's obvious the government should include this issue with the gay marriage bill. It should be law that everybody should be asked whether they want to be called Mr or Mrs or husband or wife. How can anybody know just by looking?Other options should be considered.
It's obvious the government should include this issue with the gay marriage bill. It should be law that everybody should be asked whether they want to be called Mr or Mrs or husband or wife. How can anybody know just by looking?Other options should be considered. Morpheus

8:51am Fri 1 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

For Pete's sake! Why so many precious ... if someone incorrectly identifies me as a sweet little old lady I don't take offence, I just correct them ... sharpish! End of issue!
For Pete's sake! Why so many precious ... if someone incorrectly identifies me as a sweet little old lady I don't take offence, I just correct them ... sharpish! End of issue! mimseycal

8:59am Fri 1 Feb 13

Fairfax Sakes says...

This sounds great; if I'm stopped Police will have to ask how I wish to be referred to...

Please refer to me as the Great Tit.
This sounds great; if I'm stopped Police will have to ask how I wish to be referred to... Please refer to me as the Great Tit. Fairfax Sakes

8:59am Fri 1 Feb 13

Crystal Ball says...

As Eric Idle famously said "I want to be known as Loretta and have the right to have babies".
As Eric Idle famously said "I want to be known as Loretta and have the right to have babies". Crystal Ball

9:36am Fri 1 Feb 13

Tis I says...

He's not coming out! He's been a very naughty boy.....err..... girl......whatever!
He's not coming out! He's been a very naughty boy.....err..... girl......whatever! Tis I

9:51am Fri 1 Feb 13

NickBrt says...

But I thought that according to Miss Philomena McCafferty, Councillor, we weren't allowed to refer to gender at all, ever , in any circumstances. And let's mot forget that what Green Councillors dictate we HAVE to follow or they throw a strop.
But I thought that according to Miss Philomena McCafferty, Councillor, we weren't allowed to refer to gender at all, ever , in any circumstances. And let's mot forget that what Green Councillors dictate we HAVE to follow or they throw a strop. NickBrt

10:46am Fri 1 Feb 13

Lesley Stafford says...

#Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write
"A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
#Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." Lesley Stafford

11:03am Fri 1 Feb 13

Indigatio says...

Lesley Stafford wrote:
#Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write
"A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
Where did I state that I was quoting Shakespeare? If I was, you are of course technically correct but a bit pedantic don’t you think? All I was doing was expressing a view that a name is only a name, nothing more, nothing less. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Christian, Atheist, Polish, English, Black, White, whatever – we are all people and it’s the person that counts.
As for the Police. If I had the time I could write a book. I deal with the Police, both the UK and Internationally, on a daily basis and have done for the last 25+ years. Good and bad, but these days, too much paperwork and Political Correctness and the poor guys on the front line often do not get the support they need from their senior desk bound paper pushing bosses.
Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet !!!!
[quote][p][bold]Lesley Stafford[/bold] wrote: #Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."[/p][/quote]Where did I state that I was quoting Shakespeare? If I was, you are of course technically correct but a bit pedantic don’t you think? All I was doing was expressing a view that a name is only a name, nothing more, nothing less. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Christian, Atheist, Polish, English, Black, White, whatever – we are all people and it’s the person that counts. As for the Police. If I had the time I could write a book. I deal with the Police, both the UK and Internationally, on a daily basis and have done for the last 25+ years. Good and bad, but these days, too much paperwork and Political Correctness and the poor guys on the front line often do not get the support they need from their senior desk bound paper pushing bosses. Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet !!!! Indigatio

11:26am Fri 1 Feb 13

Lesley Stafford says...

#Indigatio - You did in fact put the comment in inverted commas which indicates that you are quoting another source. That is not pedantic, it is a matter of fact. A name is not only a name - it tells you something about the person. But just to continue on a factual basis. Transgendered people are particularly likely to be the victim of threats and crimes of violence. Getting facts correct when a citizen report a crime is not "political correctness"; it is accuracy. Getting facts right is always a good thing. The use of the phrase "political correctness" is something of a give-away. I am comforted to know that my original assumption has been confirmed.
#Indigatio - You did in fact put the comment in inverted commas which indicates that you are quoting another source. That is not pedantic, it is a matter of fact. A name is not only a name - it tells you something about the person. But just to continue on a factual basis. Transgendered people are particularly likely to be the victim of threats and crimes of violence. Getting facts correct when a citizen report a crime is not "political correctness"; it is accuracy. Getting facts right is always a good thing. The use of the phrase "political correctness" is something of a give-away. I am comforted to know that my original assumption has been confirmed. Lesley Stafford

11:45am Fri 1 Feb 13

Indigatio says...

Lesley Stafford wrote:
#Indigatio - You did in fact put the comment in inverted commas which indicates that you are quoting another source. That is not pedantic, it is a matter of fact. A name is not only a name - it tells you something about the person. But just to continue on a factual basis. Transgendered people are particularly likely to be the victim of threats and crimes of violence. Getting facts correct when a citizen report a crime is not "political correctness"; it is accuracy. Getting facts right is always a good thing. The use of the phrase "political correctness" is something of a give-away. I am comforted to know that my original assumption has been confirmed.
Lets just agree to differ. I have a lot of freinds called Mohammed, they are all different and it doesn't even confirm that they are Muslim. We obviously live in different worlds but I am old and wise enough to judge people by their actions rather than their appearence or 'clasification'.
[quote][p][bold]Lesley Stafford[/bold] wrote: #Indigatio - You did in fact put the comment in inverted commas which indicates that you are quoting another source. That is not pedantic, it is a matter of fact. A name is not only a name - it tells you something about the person. But just to continue on a factual basis. Transgendered people are particularly likely to be the victim of threats and crimes of violence. Getting facts correct when a citizen report a crime is not "political correctness"; it is accuracy. Getting facts right is always a good thing. The use of the phrase "political correctness" is something of a give-away. I am comforted to know that my original assumption has been confirmed.[/p][/quote]Lets just agree to differ. I have a lot of freinds called Mohammed, they are all different and it doesn't even confirm that they are Muslim. We obviously live in different worlds but I am old and wise enough to judge people by their actions rather than their appearence or 'clasification'. Indigatio

12:36pm Fri 1 Feb 13

bogs says...

I would like a police FORCE that nicks crooks!
I would like a police FORCE that nicks crooks! bogs

12:55pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Man of steel says...

upsidedowntuctuc says...
"Wow surely if these people were assigned the wrong gender at birth it must be really confusing."
Could you please enlighten me as to how my gender at birth could be assigned? Did the midwife or doctor say, "Oh we have enough girls in the family, let's make this one a boy"?
I keep reading the daft question on council forms, "Do you identify as the gender you were assigned at birth?", and always ask the the same question in return, "Who assigned my gender?", as they got it right, it could not have been a member of the green party.
upsidedowntuctuc says... "Wow surely if these people were assigned the wrong gender at birth it must be really confusing." Could you please enlighten me as to how my gender at birth could be assigned? Did the midwife or doctor say, "Oh we have enough girls in the family, let's make this one a boy"? I keep reading the daft question on council forms, "Do you identify as the gender you were assigned at birth?", and always ask the the same question in return, "Who assigned my gender?", as they got it right, it could not have been a member of the green party. Man of steel

1:27pm Fri 1 Feb 13

RickH says...

Indigatio wrote:
Lesley Stafford wrote: #Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
Where did I state that I was quoting Shakespeare? If I was, you are of course technically correct but a bit pedantic don’t you think? All I was doing was expressing a view that a name is only a name, nothing more, nothing less. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Christian, Atheist, Polish, English, Black, White, whatever – we are all people and it’s the person that counts. As for the Police. If I had the time I could write a book. I deal with the Police, both the UK and Internationally, on a daily basis and have done for the last 25+ years. Good and bad, but these days, too much paperwork and Political Correctness and the poor guys on the front line often do not get the support they need from their senior desk bound paper pushing bosses. Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet !!!!
Yep - people are people but what people call themselves or are called is just as important. I'm sure your user name here may have a particular importance or meaning to you; the same true for, in this case, gender. If you self-identify as a man, and others insist you are female, who is correct? Would it be society forcing its view on you or you, whilst exerting your right of self-determination? The issue of gender identity is important to many, include those who are transgender/sexual. As members of our society, why should they not be afforded the same respect as the rest of us - this is about raising the awareness of a group of public servants that gender identity is as polarised as they may think it is and it is important to some of those they serve.
[quote][p][bold]Indigatio[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lesley Stafford[/bold] wrote: #Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."[/p][/quote]Where did I state that I was quoting Shakespeare? If I was, you are of course technically correct but a bit pedantic don’t you think? All I was doing was expressing a view that a name is only a name, nothing more, nothing less. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Christian, Atheist, Polish, English, Black, White, whatever – we are all people and it’s the person that counts. As for the Police. If I had the time I could write a book. I deal with the Police, both the UK and Internationally, on a daily basis and have done for the last 25+ years. Good and bad, but these days, too much paperwork and Political Correctness and the poor guys on the front line often do not get the support they need from their senior desk bound paper pushing bosses. Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet !!!![/p][/quote]Yep - people are people but what people call themselves or are called is just as important. I'm sure your user name here may have a particular importance or meaning to you; the same true for, in this case, gender. If you self-identify as a man, and others insist you are female, who is correct? Would it be society forcing its view on you or you, whilst exerting your right of self-determination? The issue of gender identity is important to many, include those who are transgender/sexual. As members of our society, why should they not be afforded the same respect as the rest of us - this is about raising the awareness of a group of public servants that gender identity is as polarised as they may think it is and it is important to some of those they serve. RickH

1:44pm Fri 1 Feb 13

668 The neighbour of the beast says...

All police operatives should use the term 'sunshine' when addressing anyone of any shape, colour, size, location, race or flavour?

Conversations should be initiated with "well, well, well, what is going on 'ear then...sunshine". This is both positive, upbeat, and sex and/or gender neutral.

No amount of diversity training is going to prevent an inadvertent, harmless 'sir' or 'madam' popping out if a burly 6'6" scaffolder dressed in a pencil-skirt goes berserk in Primark, for example.
All police operatives should use the term 'sunshine' when addressing anyone of any shape, colour, size, location, race or flavour? Conversations should be initiated with "well, well, well, what is going on 'ear then...sunshine". This is both positive, upbeat, and sex and/or gender neutral. No amount of diversity training is going to prevent an inadvertent, harmless 'sir' or 'madam' popping out if a burly 6'6" scaffolder dressed in a pencil-skirt goes berserk in Primark, for example. 668 The neighbour of the beast

2:31pm Fri 1 Feb 13

RickH says...

RickH wrote:
Indigatio wrote:
Lesley Stafford wrote: #Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
Where did I state that I was quoting Shakespeare? If I was, you are of course technically correct but a bit pedantic don’t you think? All I was doing was expressing a view that a name is only a name, nothing more, nothing less. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Christian, Atheist, Polish, English, Black, White, whatever – we are all people and it’s the person that counts. As for the Police. If I had the time I could write a book. I deal with the Police, both the UK and Internationally, on a daily basis and have done for the last 25+ years. Good and bad, but these days, too much paperwork and Political Correctness and the poor guys on the front line often do not get the support they need from their senior desk bound paper pushing bosses. Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet !!!!
Yep - people are people but what people call themselves or are called is just as important. I'm sure your user name here may have a particular importance or meaning to you; the same true for, in this case, gender. If you self-identify as a man, and others insist you are female, who is correct? Would it be society forcing its view on you or you, whilst exerting your right of self-determination? The issue of gender identity is important to many, include those who are transgender/sexual. As members of our society, why should they not be afforded the same respect as the rest of us - this is about raising the awareness of a group of public servants that gender identity is as polarised as they may think it is and it is important to some of those they serve.
Typo alert!...I mean '...isn't as polarised...' penultimate line..my bad!
[quote][p][bold]RickH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Indigatio[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lesley Stafford[/bold] wrote: #Indigatio - Shakespeare didn't write "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet." as it happens. As for this being a waste of money. To you it may be. There is a lot of money spent by the police service, local and national government that is wasted as far as I am concerned. You might want to wonder why you consider this a waste of money in particular. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."[/p][/quote]Where did I state that I was quoting Shakespeare? If I was, you are of course technically correct but a bit pedantic don’t you think? All I was doing was expressing a view that a name is only a name, nothing more, nothing less. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Christian, Atheist, Polish, English, Black, White, whatever – we are all people and it’s the person that counts. As for the Police. If I had the time I could write a book. I deal with the Police, both the UK and Internationally, on a daily basis and have done for the last 25+ years. Good and bad, but these days, too much paperwork and Political Correctness and the poor guys on the front line often do not get the support they need from their senior desk bound paper pushing bosses. Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet !!!![/p][/quote]Yep - people are people but what people call themselves or are called is just as important. I'm sure your user name here may have a particular importance or meaning to you; the same true for, in this case, gender. If you self-identify as a man, and others insist you are female, who is correct? Would it be society forcing its view on you or you, whilst exerting your right of self-determination? The issue of gender identity is important to many, include those who are transgender/sexual. As members of our society, why should they not be afforded the same respect as the rest of us - this is about raising the awareness of a group of public servants that gender identity is as polarised as they may think it is and it is important to some of those they serve.[/p][/quote]Typo alert!...I mean '...isn't as polarised...' penultimate line..my bad! RickH

4:15pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Flippin Burghers says...

If The Fuzz want to know what doing it wrong looks like, just read Julie Burchill. Simples.
If The Fuzz want to know what doing it wrong looks like, just read Julie Burchill. Simples. Flippin Burghers

4:27pm Fri 1 Feb 13

ralksam says...

How can one be expected to tell by a phone call if you may be talking to a Transgender person ??
if one has a deep voice one assumes the other person is male ??
I have heard Police constantly get complaints & have to pay compensation because the person is now a woman & objects to being called "Sir" when she calls up.....crazy or what, do we need to employ mind-readers?? or we need video phones for all so no further accidents like this can be made !!!
How can one be expected to tell by a phone call if you may be talking to a Transgender person ?? if one has a deep voice one assumes the other person is male ?? I have heard Police constantly get complaints & have to pay compensation because the person is now a woman & objects to being called "Sir" when she calls up.....crazy or what, do we need to employ mind-readers?? or we need video phones for all so no further accidents like this can be made !!! ralksam

10:24pm Fri 1 Feb 13

nocando says...

appearances can be deceptive and policemen often leap to conclusions.
Thinking about a wig and some lippy for a blag.
appearances can be deceptive and policemen often leap to conclusions. Thinking about a wig and some lippy for a blag. nocando

6:35pm Sat 2 Feb 13

bluemonday says...

if transgender people don't know what they are how can anybody else be expected to know,
if transgender people don't know what they are how can anybody else be expected to know, bluemonday

9:39am Sun 3 Feb 13

Getreal you lot says...

Getrealyoulot
Getrealyoulot Getreal you lot

6:57pm Sun 3 Feb 13

fredflintstone1 says...

More PC lunancy - avoiding the real issue of tackling crime. Notice this has stemmed from the Greens of course. They don't want anyone to have a gender, do they?

Should one of the Council's priority be a transgender scrunity committee? The Greens clearly see it as critical to the smooth running of the city, but most residents - even transgenders - might see it as another costly vanity project.

Surely all it takes it for the person concerned to clarify things if there's a mistake? More unnecessary Green micromanagement of our lives, and further evidence of their warped priorities.
More PC lunancy - avoiding the real issue of tackling crime. Notice this has stemmed from the Greens of course. They don't want anyone to have a gender, do they? Should one of the Council's priority be a transgender scrunity committee? The Greens clearly see it as critical to the smooth running of the city, but most residents - even transgenders - might see it as another costly vanity project. Surely all it takes it for the person concerned to clarify things if there's a mistake? More unnecessary Green micromanagement of our lives, and further evidence of their warped priorities. fredflintstone1

7:04pm Sun 3 Feb 13

imnotpc says...

Who in all honesty gives a flying f**k??? Let the police get back to worrying about more important things,they must hate working in Brighton with all these odd 'people'
Who in all honesty gives a flying f**k??? Let the police get back to worrying about more important things,they must hate working in Brighton with all these odd 'people' imnotpc

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